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Old 09-10-2009, 09:24 PM
^Purrson^'s Avatar
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Default WARNING!!Tea Tree Oil is toxic to cats

Sorry if this is in the wrong place. Wanted to post it to alert others but couldnt figure where to post it.
I recently had a scare with my Missy cat.
I brought Missy in for her annual checkup Saturday with our favorite vet. Dr. Pilch. I learned she had lost about a pound and a half, which is a lot for a little under 10 pound critter.

He also said her heart was beating much faster then expected even considering fear from being there. (think he said pounding even) He felt it was something metabolic, mentioned maybe diabetes or something with her thyroid, so Missy donated some urine and blood and we waited over the long weekend to find what was wrong. Why things always happen on holiday weekends I do not know, but I was expecting the worst, which in my view is Kidney failure, as I have lost several kitties to that.

Anyway he called today, said her thyroid and sugar was fine, but he was concerned as her liver enzymes were elevated. They had been elevated in the past, 5 years or so earlier, when I tried using a pure Tea Tree oil on my skin, for skin issues, I had found her to act like she was smelling catnip at the time rubbing and rolling on my hand and biting it lightly. A few days later she was not eating like usual and I had googled and learned that Tea Tree oil could cause issues with cats. I stopped using it then. The next physical Pilch happened to do labs, and found her liver enzymes to be elevated.
He repeated them six months later and they were fine.

Fast foward to this past year, I have had flareups with my skin again, worse then in the past, which was affecting my sleep and so I was not thinking straight, at one point found a shampoo with tea tree oil in it seemed to help my hands feel better. They had gotten so bad that just rinsing in water hurt.

I had been using the tea tree shampoo, and had found a soap and lotion for my hands also that had it, so poor Missy was getting it from all barrels. When I sit on the couch, she generally climbs on my lap and snoozes with her head under my chin, and I wrap my hands around her. At night she sleeps draped over my head. She is not a kitty is standoffish, never has been, but is very loving as most are.

I just hope she will recover and be ok, I feel terrible that I had caused all this, but was hoping that it could educate others and spare them and their kitties the scare. I am also hopeful that she will be ok. She is on a 10 day course of Flagyl and is back on Milk Thistle.

Very confusing as there were no apparent signs of anything being ill, other then her yelling when she didnt see us, or if she wanted us to lie on a bed so she could snuggle and we were doing other things. She had started that about a year ago, when we went away a few days with my sister, leaving her home just one day more then usual. I thought it was more behavioral, and so did our vet when I mentioned it last May.

By hindsight maybe she was slightly more clingy, but that is hard to define in a cat that has always been a lap cat. Her stomach has also been loose from time to time, but went back to normal on its own.

We started the Flagyl Tuesday morning, and she stopped yelling that afternoon. Has not yelled once since.

I am thinking the tea tree oil sensitivity is similar to Greyhounds being intolerant of some drugs and anesthesias due to something in their genetic makeup.
More at a later date, hug your kitties for me.
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:02 PM
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EVIL SHELTIES!!!!
 
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oh yeah, it can even to toxic to a very very small amount of dogs (usually less than 10lbs)
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:36 PM
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ok then I just posted it on several other dog forums, makes me not feel guilty for posting here, felt so off topic LOL
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:27 PM
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EVIL SHELTIES!!!!
 
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nah, people should know. thanks for telling them
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:37 AM
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That is so scary, I hope Missy is feeling better! I've heard the Tea Tree warning, that if you have cats, you shouldn't even use TT products on your dogs. My local dollar store was selling Tea Tree Oil Shampoo for Dogs & CATS!! They sure got an earful from me about that! The next time I went there, they had pulled it off the shelves, thank goodness.

Can't warn people enough about this. Just because something is natural people think it's safe, but that isn't always true.
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